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I drove the Chevy Equinox EV. It's a solid, much-needed addition to the electric crossover market

Nora Naughton   

I drove the Chevy Equinox EV. It's a solid, much-needed addition to the electric crossover market
A Chevrolet Equinox EV parked in a drivewayNora Naughton, Business Insider
  • The Equinox EV is a solid addition to the electric crossover market.
  • I found that Super Cruise elevates the experience behind the wheel.

There's another electric Chevrolet crossover on the market as the bowtie brand leans into EVs while others are pulling back.

I got to take the new all-electric Equinox EV on a quick drive in Metro Detroit and came away impressed with the little hatchback's performance.

Two trims are available on dealer lots today, with a starting price of $43,295. That's a new, much-needed option in the sub-$50,000 price range for EVs. GM is also promising even cheaper options for the Equinox later this year, with a base model that starts at $34,995.

The Equinox EV has an EPA-estimated range of 319 miles. Its DC fast-charging capability of up to 150 kW enables 77 miles of range to be added in 10 minutes of charging, according to GM estimates.

The Equinox EV also boasts plenty of cargo space, with 57.2 cubic feet of storage with the second row folded down.

This little Tesla fighter, priced and designed to compete directly with Model 3 and Model Y, delivered a smooth ride on GM's pre-selected course that included surface road and highway driving.

The Tesla influence on the Equinox EV is undeniable

The Tesla influence on the Equinox EV is undeniable
A close-up of the mechanical door handle on the Equinox EV      Nora Naughton, Business Insider

The first things I noticed as I approached the Equinox EV for my test drive were the door handles. When the vehicle is locked, the handles lay flush with the door. Unlocked, they pop out like a level to pull and open the door.

This is a direct nod to Tesla, which originated this door handle design. On a mostly sunny 75-degree day, they didn't give me any trouble, but cold weather does seem to cause trouble for these mechanical door handles.

The styling on the Equinox EV turns a milquetoast mom car into a stylish prowler

The styling on the Equinox EV turns a milquetoast mom car into a stylish prowler
A Chevrolet Equinox EV parked in a driveway      Nora Naughton, Business Insider

The gas-powered Equinox is one of many boring crossovers in Chevrolet's portfolio. The layman might not be able to distinguish it from a Trax or a Blazer.

But the electrified version is designed to stand out, with a hood that swoops down to narrow headlights, helping give the crossover a menacing stance. More sculpting around the back wheels also gives it a wider appearance, too, making it more distinct from its gas-powered counterpart.

Sleeker design is a must-have in the electric crossover market, which also includes lookers like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Mustang Mach-E.

Unlike the sparse Tesla models, Equinox EV has buttons, nobs, and vents that accent the space

Unlike the sparse Tesla models, Equinox EV has buttons, nobs, and vents that accent the space
Interior view of front cabin in a 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV RS.      Jim Fets, General Motors

I've always found the sparse interior of the Model 3 and Model Y to feel a bit cavernous, so I was glad to see a lot of accenting and design cues built into the Equinox EV's interior.

Some trims also have more fun color combinations for the leather seating to add a bit of personality inside the car.

Still, overall I found the interior of the electric car to be somewhat underwhelming. I've sat in a lot of Chevrolet interiors over the years, this one didn't feel all that different or special.

Super Cruise elevates the experience in the Equinox EV

Super Cruise elevates the experience in the Equinox EV
The view from behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Equinox EV while it drives using the hands-free Super Cruise technology.      Nora Naughton, Business Insider

While the Equinox EV's interior leaves a bit to be desired, the optional Super Cruise hands-free technology elevates the driving experience to make the Equinox EV feel more special than your average crossover.

I sat back and enjoyed the sunny ride on the highway while Super Cruise navigated traffic.

The Equinox EV is a solid addition to the electric crossover market, but Chevy has a lot to prove with Ultium

The Equinox EV is a solid addition to the electric crossover market, but Chevy has a lot to prove with Ultium
A close-up of the Chevrolet Equinox EV badge      Nora Naughton, Business Insider

Overall, I enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Equinox EV. It delivers the zippy ride you expect from a battery-powered car, and Chevrolet's engineers have tuned the car to hug corners and feel smooth and stable out on the road.

There aren't a ton of extra frills or surprises, but the Equinox EV gave me just about everything I would want out of an electric crossover — the type of EV I'd be most likely to add to my own driveway.

But I can't help but wonder how some of the troubles with the Ultium technology in the Blazer rollout will affect its chances up against Hyundai, Kia, and Tesla. Electric car customers today are less patient than the techy early adopters who pioneered the market.

Chevrolet is hoping to take advantage of this shift in customer preferences with its trusted reputation as a legacy brand, flooding the market with EVs while others are pulling back. But the Blazer's messy launch, which included a stop-sale to repair software issues, might have an effect on how even the most loyal Chevrolet owner views the Equinox EV.

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